Ericsson has taken the time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about its response to the coronavirus. The tech giant confirmed that it is continuing to monitor the situation, and that it is following the public health recommendations of local and international authorities in its various areas of operation.
In the meantime, Ericsson noted that mobile networks have been identified as an essential service, and that it is working to maintain core infrastructure during the COVID-19 crisis. That means that its engineers and field staff are still being deployed to ensure that key personnel (including healthcare workers) have reliable network coverage.
Internally, Ericsson restricted non-essential work travel on February 25, and implemented guidelines for private travel two days later, asking employees to observe local mandates and to consult with their manager before heading to the office. The company allows remote work as a general policy, and already had the IT ecosystem needed to support the recent shift. Many employees are now working from home, although decisions about individual offices are made in collaboration with local authorities on a case-by-case basis.
The company’s Chinese production facility was closed until February 9, but has since been reopened. All of Ericsson’s key production sites are up and running as of February 10. Thanks to its global supply chain, Ericsson does not believe that the coronavirus will have any impact on its customers in Q1, and that it will be able to fulfill anticipated demand in Q2.
Finally, Ericsson highlighted some of the changes it has noticed in its mobile traffic. There has been a major shift in traffic from downtown cores to suburban and residential areas now that people are working from home. There has also been a similar increase in voice calls, video calls, and other bi-directional services.
Ericsson was one of the first companies to withdraw from MWC Barcelona prior to the event’s cancellation. It then allowed remote participation during its Annual General Meeting on March 31, where the company indicated that it has been able to advance its 5G objectives despite the ongoing COVID-19 disruption.